Nissin Di622 II

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This upgrade of the popular Nissin Di622 has remedied most of the omissions of the original flash. It now has a metal hot-foot, a less noisy zoom motor, a wireless dedicated mode, it comes with both a pc-socket and a 3.5 mm mono-plug jack, and it can also be fired by shorting the centre-pin of the hot-foot. These changes makes it suitable to be used as both as a dedicated slave, plain slave, and for being triggered by cheap radio triggers. Like its predecessor, it has a built-in bounce card and wide panel.

It still costs about half of the Canon 430EX II and Nikon SB-600. However, the lower price means that some tradeoffs are made. The build quality is not in the same league as Canon and Nikon flash units. (For instance, the there is no locking mechanism on the swivel head. This may pose a problem when adding snoots and diffusers.) While it supports dedicated wireless remote operation, there is only a single group and channel available (channel 1, group A). There is no rear LCD, the sync speed with radio triggers must be kept below 1/160 second, and there are only six levels of manual control. The zoom head is not manually adjustable. In the hot-shoe, it follows the focal-length of the camera's lens without taking crop-factor into account. Off camera, the zoom head is fixed at the 35mm setting.

Instead of a rear LCD, the user interface depends on the use of LEDs. There is a mode button that let you cycle through the five different modes offered by the flash, The mode button doubles as mode indicator. As you press it, it changes colour to indicate the current mode. Below the LEDs, there is a -/+ switch that lets you adjust power level or exposure compensation. The power indicator consists of six yellow LEDs just above the -/+ switch. Here's a summary of the five modes. The mode set is indicated by the colour of the mode LED:

  1. When the mode LED is off, the flash is in normal hot shoe TTL mode. This is when flash power is controlled by the camera, but you may set flash exposure compensation (FEC/FOLC) from -1.5 EV to +1.5 EV with the -/+ switch.
  2. Red indicates manual mode “M”. In this, and the other manual modes, the -/+ switch sets manual flash power between 1/1 and 1/32. The flash can be fired by a hot-shoe connection, or through the pc- or monoplug socket.
  3. Green indicates digital slave mode “SD” where the unit ignores pre-flashes to fire in sync with the main flash. The -/+ switch sets manual flash power.
  4. Blue indicates plain slave mode “SF” where the unit fires whenever it sees the light of another flash. The -/+ switch sets manual flash power.
  5. Purple indicates the wireless dedicated slave mode, i.e. Canon E-TTL II or Nikon AWL slave mode, where the power of the unit is wirelessly controlled by the camera. In this mode, the -/+ switch can't be used.

Specifications

For dedicated flash systems: Canon, Nikon.
Head: 16, 24-105mm coverage, power zoom (tracks lens).
Swivel & tilt: -180° to +90° swivel, 0° to +90° tilt.
Exposure modes: TTL, Varipower.
Manual settings: 1/1 to 1/32 in 1/1 EV steps (6 steps).
Wireless modes: Remote (dedicated), Plain slave, Digital slave.
Features: Metal foot, Sync. socket, Strobist.
Trigger voltage: 3.5 volt.
Batteries: 4xAA.
Flash duration: 1/800 sec. @ 1/1 (full output).
Field upgradable: via dealer.
Dimensions: 77 x 103 x 130 mm, 315 g.

Zoom head setting:f=35mmf=50mmf=max
Guidenumber (ISO 100, meter):263444
GNs taken from manufacturer's specifications.

Price: USD 160 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2010-today.

For a detailed explanation of the above specifications, see the guide.

Literature

Documentation:

Brand profile

Key info

Established: 1959
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Web: Global, man

Nissin is a Japanese manufacturer of flash units. It differs from almost any other Japanese company I've dealt with by having poor communication skills, not responding to customers concerns, and putting stuff on the market before it is ready. Its manufacturing facility is located in Shenzhen (China) and its sales operation is located in Hong Kong. For all practical purposes, I would say that this is a Chinese company.

The company was founded in 1959, and has produced professional flash units since 1967. In 2007, the company introduced Di622, its first dedicated flash aimed at the DSLR TTL-market.

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